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Medications & Treatments

The two main aims of drug therapy are to ease specific symptoms and hamper the progression of disease by shortening the attacks. The types of drugs used in treatment depend on a number of factors, including the person's type of MS.

 

Some of the drug treatments available include:

  • Immunotherapy medications slow the frequency and severity of attacks, which means the myelin sheaths are subjected to less damage; works by modifying the activity of the immune system; most often prescribed for people with relapsing-remitting MS
  • Methylprednisolone is taken as pills or an infusion; steroid medication is used to control the severity of an MS attack, by easing inflammation at the affected site
  • Immune suppressants such as methotrexate or mitozantrone, are sometimes used, especially for people with progressive MS
  • Treatments in development, a large number of new therapies being trialled in the treatment of MS

 

Get advice about medications


MS Australia does not recommend a particular therapy as this is a clinical decision which you need to make with your neurologist.
 
MS staff can provide detailed information about medications and discuss what's important in your personal decision making process: contact your state MS society.

 

Medications Fact Sheets

Treatment sheets for: Fampyra®, Zinbryta®, and Ocrevus™ are currently under development.

Current information regarding the status of these treatments is provided below:

Fampyra®

(fampridine)

Fampyra® was approved by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) in 2011 and is available in Australia but is not listed on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS).

More information is available from:

http://bit.ly/2oL22Wu

 

Zinbryta®

(daclizumab)

Zinbryta® was approved by the TGA in September 2016 and is available in Australia but is not listed on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS).

Biogen (the supplier) has advised that they are running a Patient Familiarisation Program until the PBS listing is confirmed – for information regarding participation in this program, patients are advised to speak with their neurologist.

More information is available from:

http://bit.ly/2oKXqj1

 

Ocrevus™

(ocrelizumab)

A new MS medication called Ocrevus™ (ocrelizumab) has been approved for use in the USA to treat both relapsing and primary progressive forms of MS, making it the first ever FDA approved medication for primary progressive MS.

In Australia we are still awaiting the review from the TGA (Therapeutic Goods Administration) and Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee before we know when the drug may become available.

More information is available from MS Research Australia:

http://ow.ly/eZqJ30aoc9S

 

If you'd like to be more informed about what specific treatments are available, download the corresponding fact sheets and discuss these treatments with your doctor or neurologist.

PDF icon Treatments - Aubagio (teriflunomide).pdf

PDF icon Treatments - Avonex.pdf

PDF icon Treatments - Betaferon.pdf

PDF icon Treatments - Botox.pdf

PDF icon Treatments - Copaxone.pdf

PDF icon Treatments - Gilenya.pdf

PDF icon Treatments - Lemtrada (alemtuzumab).pdf

PDF icon Treatments - Plegridy.pdf

PDF icon Treatments - Rebif.pdf

PDF icon Treatments - Tecfidera.pdf

PDF icon Treatments - Tysabri.pdf

 

Trials

Contact your neurologist for more information about new treatment options and whether you might be eligible to participate in trials.
 
You can see a list by state of all available and ethically approved MS trials on MS Research Australia's MS Clinical Trials website.
 
 

Treatment for specific symptoms

  • Muscle problems: a combination of medication may ease muscle problems, including stiffness and tremors. Physiotherapy is also recommended.
  • Fatigue: some studies have found that medication used to treat the sleep disorder narcolepsy is helpful in controlling MS-related fatigue.
  • Neurological symptoms: visual disturbances can be helped with medication, including steroids.
  • Continence treatment for continence problems may include special exercises, medications, continence aids (such as disposable pads) and certain dietary changes.
  • Neuropsychological problems: treatment for depression or anxiety may include counselling or medication; memory problems and other cognitive difficulties can be better managed with professional help from a neuropsychologist.

 

Seek professional advice

Get advice from your neurologist or GP about what medical treatments and self-management strategies might be most suitable for you.
 
Support for you
Every person's experience of living with MS is different. Find the support and services you need to meet your individual circumstances.
 
Visit MS Research Australia for the latest news and information on multiple sclerosis research.